The Duty to Protect: Gender in the Swedish Practice of Conscription

Citation:

Kronsell, Annica, and Erika Svedberg. 2001. “The Duty to Protect: Gender in the Swedish Practice of Conscription.” Cooperation and Conflict 36 (2): 153–76. doi:10.1177/001083601400422379.

Authors: Annica Kronsell, Erika Svedberg

Abstract:

In this article, we turn first to a brief discussion of feminist contributions in the field of security, defense, and collective identity, and then argue that Swedish nationalism is tied to a particular form of collective identity formation through the practice of conscription. Drawing on Elshtain's notions of 'just warriors' and 'beautiful souls', we go on to spell out how women, historically, have been situated within the discourse of militarism. Finally, we look at how the contribution of women to the military has been perceived and argued, and then point out how a small number of female soldiers may be instrumental in exposing a particular value system of gender, citizenship, and collective identity.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarism Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2001

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